[b]Every Mountain Will Be Flattened[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
The prophet Zechariah was once given a vision of a golden lampstand - a symbol of the church (Zech.4:2; see Rev.1:20).
To keep the lamp burning continuously, the greatest need is a continuous supply of oil (v.3). And for this, there were two olive trees planted on either side of the lampstand - symbolising the FRUIT and the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, through which the church is built.
The angel then told Zechariah that God's work would be done, not by human power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that every mountain that stood in the way would be flattened (Zech.4:6,7).
In God's work, we will face hindrances and obstacles of many types. We may wonder why God allows us to face such mountains, when we are wholeheartedly seeking to do His will alone. But God's purpose is to exercise our faith, so that we can experience His mighty power reducing all those mountains to a plain.
We read of an occasion in the gospels, where Jesus urged His disciples to go across the lake of Galilee. They did not want to go, but he urged them to go (Mt.14:22). When they obeyed Him, they ran into a fierce storm. If they had disobeyed Him, and not crossed the lake, they would not have faced that storm at all. But they would not have experienced the power of the Lord stilling the storm either. It is only when we face the storms that we can also know the power of God.
It is the disobedient and compromising Christian who has an easy way through life. But he never experiences the power of God either. The disciple of Jesus may go through "many afflictions". But he also experiences the Lord "delivering him out of all of them" (Psa.34:19).
God delights to see His people trust Him in the midst of gigantic problems that no man can solve. It is in such situations that we prove that we believe in an almighty God. Far too many of God's people believe in a god of their own imagination who is unable to help them when they face man- made or demon-made storms or mountains. That is not the God of the Bible, but a god of their own making - an impotent idol of their imagination, no better than any heathen idol.
Is there any problem too big for our God? No. Then why do we fear when men or demons raise up mountains in our way?
When the Israelites heard of the size of the giants of Canaan, they began to think, "These giants are too big for OUR god to handle". Who was their god? Not the God Who had delivered them from Egypt, but a powerless figment of their own imagination. No wonder God sentenced them to 38 years of wandering in the wilderness (Deut.2:14).
They were unbelieving - and their unbelief insulted God and tied His hands, so that He could do nothing for them. There are Christian leaders today also who tie Gods hands through their unbelief.
But God is looking for men like Joshua and Caleb, who will believe and proclaim that there is nothing impossible for God.
God is always on our side against Satan. And nothing can prevent Him from working for us, except our unbelief. Even if all the 5500 million people in the world and all the millions of Satan's demons opposed us, they would not be able to hinder God's purposes for us - if we trust in God. So we never get discouraged or give up - no matter what happens. Even if we die, we will die trusting in our Almighty God, believing that His Name will be glorified through our death!
When God allows us to face mountains - whether in the form of demons that wrestle with us, or hundreds of people who oppose us and accuse us - His purpose is that we might thereby become strong and wealthy. "If God be for us who can be against us" (Rom.8:31).
It is only when we face mountains and the opposition of demons and men, that Zechariah 4:6,7 becomes more than just a wall-text hanging in our sitting-room. It gets written into our bloodstream!
But we have to be wholehearted and say, "Lord I really want to stand for You here, whatever the cost. Give me grace to stand for You, even if all my fellow-believers become lukewarm, and even if my wife opposes me. I am totally Yours. All I have is Yours. I am willing to spend all my life's earnings also for Your work" Then we will find God continually flattening mountains in front of us, everywhere we go.
Let there be any number of giants in the land. Our God can handle all of them. He will "be an enemy to our enemies", and "fight against those who fight with us" (Exod.23:22; Isa.49:25). God has promised that "no weapon formed against us will prosper", and that "He Himself will vindicate us" (Isa.54:17). So we never need to defend ourselves when falsely accused. We can remain silent, "entrusting our cause to Him Who judges righteously" (1 Pet.2:23). That is the dignity with which servants of the new covenant conduct themselves.
We depend on God utterly, knowing that He will never let us down. What He did for Jesus, Our Forerunner, He will do for us too.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon